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1 week ago

Strava's new Android Wear 2.0 app leaves the phone behind

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Popular fitness-tracking app Strava hits the ground running with an Android Wear 2.0 update.

Strava has updated their app for watches with Android Wear 2.0 to support the new features that come with the new operating system.

After an initial setup through your phone, the Strava for Android Wear app becomes a complete standalone experience. Track your runs or your rides and share photos and highlights with the Strava community right from the app.

With millions of downloads and a 4.6-star rating in Google Play, Strava is a fan favorite. Grab it at the link below and check out the press release for more information.

Download Strava (free, in-app purchases)

Strava Available Now for Devices Powered by Android Wear 2.0

Athletes can record and upload activities on Strava via Wear 2.0 watches, untethered from their Android and iOS phones.

SAN FRANCISCO - February 9, 2017 - Strava, the social network for athletes, announces its Android Wear 2.0 app. Athletes can now take full advantage of an enhanced, untethered experience that includes built-in GPS and wireless connectivity, as well as the performance analysis Strava athletes desire such as time, distance, pace, laps and split times, and heart rate, all from their wrist.

"We welcome the highly anticipated release of Android Wear 2.0," said Mateo A. Ortega, Head of Integration for Strava. "Wear 2.0's standalone model is forward thinking and innovative, and pushes the limits of what we thought was possible. This platform introduces many features that benefit Strava athletes, such as the option to record and upload activities independent of their phone."

Android Wear 2.0 smartwatches join more than 100 other GPS devices that work seamlessly with Strava. Athletes can install Strava for Android Wear 2.0 by visiting the Google Play store on their Wear device. The athlete only needs their iOS or Android phone for initial setup; they can then record and upload activities to Strava free of their mobile phone.

Strava makes it easy to connect and engage with other athletes. Download Strava for iOS or Android and upgrade to Strava Premium to access the latest features such as Beacon and Live Segments. To learn more about Strava, visit www.strava.com.

About Strava Strava unlocks potential through the power of sport. Designed by athletes, for athletes, Strava's mobile apps and website connect millions of runners and cyclists every day. For more information visit www.strava.com.

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1 week ago

LG Watch Sport video review!

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The newly launched LG Watch Sport is the new head of the Android Wear family, with version 2 of Google's wearable platform and a loadout of features including LTE, GPS and NFC for Android Pay. It's also a big, chunky watch that's going to look out of place on smaller wrists. And, with all that technology ticking away under the hood, it's a device which won't last much beyond the one-day mark if you're using LTE.

On top of that, Android Wear 2.0 (finally) brings a more mature software experience to the wrist, with improved notifications, a re-vamped app drawer, more options for replying to messages and the ability to install apps directly from the Play Store. And naturally for a "Sport" watch, this thing has a bunch of cool features for tracking your workouts through Google Fit.

Andrew has the lowdown on the LG Watch Sport in our video review of the new Android Wear flagship. Check it out above, and be sure to hit the comments and let us know if you're picking one up!

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1 week ago

Best Wireless Mice for Chromebooks

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Which wireless mice are best for Chromebooks?

While your Chromebook's trackpad works well enough for most situations, there are some tasks for which a wireless mouse is better.

Whether you need a wireless mouse to scroll through long documents faster, or to perform fine manipulations, there's a great wireless mouse out there with your name on it. Here are a few of our favorites.

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1 week ago

Best Multiplayer Games for PlayStation VR

Best Multiplayer Games for PlayStation VR

PlayStation VR's library of games grows every week, and it continues to attract some gems. One thing about virtual reality, mostly due to the physical nature of the headset, is that it can be a bit of a solitary experience. If you'd like your gaming experience to entail meeting some new friends or duking it out against human intelligence, we've rounded up the best multiplayer games for PlayStation VR.

Read more at VR Heads!

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1 week ago

Cribbage With Grandpas review: A charming intro to a classic card game

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Search for any traditional card game in the Google Play Store and you're bombarded with so many results, it's easy to assume that all card games for Android are a dime a dozen.

But then you find a hidden gem like Cribbage With Grandpas and realize not all card games are created equal.

Cribbage is one of those games that has endured, largely unchanged, for centuries. It's a game that's passed down from generation to generation through games played on rainy Sunday afternoons or lazy summer days at the cottage. If you've never played before, in short it's a two-player game where you try to find pairs, runs, or groups of cards that add up to fifteen to score points, which are marked on a board with pegs. It's fairly easy to learn but takes time and an astute mind to master.

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1 week ago

Ooniprobe is a silly name for a new way to combat censorship and surveillance

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How much do you know about your Wi-Fi network?

There's no arguing the convenience of a well-placed wireless network when you're not at home, and many businesses around the world are discovering the benefits of offering a free connection to their consumers for this very reason. While some of us may do the work to ensure our home networks deliver a specific experience, when you're out and about those networks are usually maintained at a corporate or local government level. That means you don't make the rules, and not every problem can be solved by switching on a VPN.

The Tor Project has a new tool to help you be better educated when it comes to the networks you use with your phone, and it has one of the sillier names you'll see today.

Ooniprobe is designed to test the network you are currently on and give you as much information as possible. This starts with basic network performance information, but also includes detection tools for censorship and surveillance methods that may exist on the network. If this network doesn't allow you to reach a certain kind of website, or separately tracks your activity while on the network, Ooniprobe reveals this information to you and offers strategies for circumvention.

This app also publishes all of the data you collect on the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI) Explorer site, which allows third parties to independently verify and analyze it. As expected from The Tor Project, this app is not only free but open source. Enjoy!

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1 week ago

What color LG Watch Style should I buy?

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It's time to decide which color of the LG Watch Style is best.

The LG Watch Style has arrived with Android Wear 2.0 and is available in three different colors. Before you jump into the car or desperately try to order one online, there is a very important choice that you need to make: which color should you buy? It's a big decision, and we're here to help you make the choice that you'll be happiest with!

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1 week ago

These are the phones that support Daydream VR

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Is your phone Daydream-ready? Probably not.

Google's big push into smartphone-based virtual reality has only begun to take form. Where Cardboard is an amazing way to make it so anyone and everyone can enjoy short VR experiences, Daydream is aiming much higher. You'll be able to kick back and enjoy an episode of Game of Thrones, stand up and draw some amazing pieces of art with a big bubble around you as the canvas, and of course play an enormous number of immersive games. Daydream is going to be a big deal to anyone who can enjoy it, and in order to be on that list your phone must have Google's "Daydream ready" stamp of approval.

Which phones have earned Google's blessing? Glad you asked! Here's a very short list of what's available now, which we will be updating as frequently as possible.

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1 week ago

HTC wants Indian users to pay ₹48,990 ($730) for a Snapdragon 810-powered phone

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HTC continues to be ignorant of the Indian market.

HTC doesn't have a great track record in India. The Taiwanese manufacturer rolled out the MediaTek Helio X10-powered One M9+ in lieu of the standard One M9 in 2015, charging ₹52,500 ($785) for it. The QHD display backed by an inefficient processor led to the phone lagging in everyday usage, and the high price drove customers to the Galaxy S6.

Last year, the brand announced that it would bring the Snapdragon 652 variant of the HTC 10, the HTC 10 Lifestyle, and not the Snapdragon 820 model. The company thankfully changed course and introduced the HTC 10 in the country, and while the handset itself turned out to be one of the better phones of 2016, a lack of advertising killed HTC's prospects in the market.

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1 week ago

How to use Android Pay on your Android Wear smartwatch

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Android Pay is here and easier to use than ever.

The biggest perk about having access to parts of your smartphone from your watch is convenience. Whether that means checking the weather while you are getting dressed, or being able to easily glance down for a moment to check your notifications. Android Pay is now available for use right from your wrist, provided that your watch is running Android Wear 2.0 and has NFC. As of right now, that's a list populated by only the LG Watch Sport, but it won't be this exclusive for too long.

How to set up Android Pay on your watch

Using Android Pay is thankfully an uncomplicated affair once you've got everything set up. It will take a few minutes to get yourself situated, so it's something you're going to want to do before you roll out of the house to run your errands.

First you'll want to install Android Pay on your phone, and add the card that you want to use. Next make sure that your watch is connected to your phone via Bluetooth. From here you can open up Android Pay on your watch, and tap add card to choose from your previously-added cards. If you want to add a different card all you need to do is tap add card once again and switch back to your phone to verify details. Once it has been verified it will be added to the cards available with the Android Pay app on your watch.

Step by step instructions to set up Android Pay

  1. Install Android Pay on your phone.
  2. Add the card you want to use, verifying with your bank.
  3. Make sure your watch is connected to your phone via Bluetooth.
  4. Open Android Pay on your watch, tap add card to choose from cards on your phone.

And that's it!

How to use Android Pay on your watch

In a fast-paced world, there are times when convenience is definitely key. Sometimes you only have a few minutes to dart into the corner store for that caffeine rush first thing in the morning, or you're already distracted. That's where having access to Android Pay right from your wrist comes in. With just a tap, you'll be able to pay for your purchases and continue about your day. For anyone who has accidentally left their wallet (or even their phone) at home, this is a serious boon.

As of right now, the only watch that has access to Android Pay is the LG Watch Sport.

First thing's first, you'll want to launch the Android Pay app on your watch. As of right now, the only watch that has access to Android Pay is the LG Watch Sport. By default, the bottom side button will launch Android Pay, and even better, it doesn't need to be connected to your phone in order to make a payment. If you're ready to pay with your default card, just place the top edge of your watch to the payment terminal. When the payment is accepted you'll feel a long vibration on your watch, and the payment terminal will likely also beep.

Now, if you want to switch to one of your alternate cards, that's also easy to do. If you swipe up on your watch screen, it will reveal additional cards that you can choose from. These are the cards that have been entered and verified in the Android Pay app on your phone. If you want to switch to a new default card, tap on the card it view it, swipe up on the card, and then tap the blue bar with a check mark at the bottom. When it's time to delete a card follow the same steps, but instead of tapping the blue bar, swipe up one more time and then tap the trash can to delete that card.

Step by step instructions to use Android Pay

  1. To get ready to pay, launch the Android Pay app on your watch.
  2. Place the top edge of your watch to the payment terminal until you get a long vibration on the watch.
    • The payment terminal will also likely beep to confirm.
  3. If you want to switch cards before paying, swipe up on the screen to reveal additional cards.
    • To change a new card to default, tap on the card to view its details, swipe up on the card and then tap the blue bar with a check mark at the bottom
    • To delete a card, follow the same steps but give the bar an extra swipe up and tap the trash can to remove

You're now ready to pay like a pro with just your smartwatch!

Android Wear

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1 week ago

Samsung Hello could be the Galaxy S8's answer to Google Now

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Samsung sign

One location for your news, social, health and travel plans, backed up by voice interactions.

Personal feeds like the Google Feed (formerly Google Now) and HTC BlinkFeed aren't a new idea, and phone makers never seem to tire of trying to collate all your personal info and updates into one place. "Samsung Hello" could be the company's latest attempt to do just that, and based on the timing of a recent trademark filing, a launch alongside the upcoming Galaxy S8 is a good bet.

The European trademark, first spotted by SamMobile refers to an app which "gives personalized features and information based on user's preferences in the fields of weather, music, entertainment, games, travel, science, health, contact, and social news via voice command and voice recognition." That sounds an awful lot like the Feed within the Google app, though it's unclear whether Samsung Hello would be entirely voice-only, or whether there'd also be some visual component.

Will Samsung Hello and the 'Bixby' AI be one and the same?

On a drier and more technical level, the filing also mentions "software that enable block users or computers and mobile devices to access, aggregate, organize and interact with content, information and images and topics of general interest to such users." (Read: showing you stuff you might be interested in — another central feature of the artist formerly known as Google Now.)

It's also not clear how Hello might tie into the Galaxy S8's rumored 'Bixby' AI assistant, or whether they're one and the same. Most of the features detailed in the trademark filing would seem to overlap with what you'd get from a voice-controlled assistant.

We should be careful about basing too much on a single trademark filing. While they can be useful indicators of what's to come, Samsung's past filings have included dubious marks like "Galaxy Fonblet," which never went anywhere. Regardless, with "AI" becoming one of the major phone trends of 2017, we'll be watching with interest to see how Samsung's AI efforts come into focus. The Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus are rumored to break cover at an event in New York City on March 29.

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1 week ago

How the Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor helped save Modern Dad

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Fun fact: Seven years of running Android Central might well leave you with high blood pressure. Or maybe it was just a coincidence. ...

That's the bad news. ... The good news is that 2016 was the year I decided to take my health a little more seriously. Step 1: Get a doctor. That led to Step 2: Find out that I indeed had high blood pressure, and start dealing with that. And that led to Step 3: Keep track of how the ol' blood beater is beating on a daily basis.

Subscribe to Modern Dad on YouTube

So it was time to snag a blood pressure monitor. I started with your basic Amazon best-seller. And that was fine. It did the job, and it even had a little bit of smarts to it. But I wanted something even smarter, even more connected.

So I turned to Withings, whose connected scaled I'd already been using for some time. And their wireless blood pressure monitor has served me very well since I started keeping track of things. Probably as impressive as anything is that in the six months or so that I've been using it, I still haven't had to change out the batteries. (Which, strangely, was my biggest concern.)

This one works excellently with Android and Google Fit, as well as iOS and HealthKit.

See at Amazon

Modern Dad

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1 week ago

Open Signal: Verizon and T-Mobile are in a virtual tie for the best network in the U.S.

129

Verizon is a little bit faster, and T-Mobile's network is growing like a weed.

Open Signal has released their State of Mobile Networks: USA report and they say Verizon has now tied T-Mobile for the fastest carrier in the United States, and the results are so close between the two that they are virtually tied for the "best."

Using data collected from 169,683 users, 4,599,231,167 data points were used to measure network speeds on both 4G and 3G, network availability and latency. The data is collected by users installing the Open Signal app from Google Play or the App Store and going about their daily routine.

In their analysis of the collected data, they say that Verizon has improved their 4G network speeds to pull even with T-Mobile who has traditionally done well in this category. They also mention that the average overall network speeds in the U.S. have risen slightly, and over 81% of U.S. residents have access to LTE networks.

Availability of high-speed data services shows that all four carriers have improved, but T-Mobile (86.6%) is now within two percentage points of Verizon (88.2%) when it comes to finding an LTE signal. The company with the most improvement here is Sprint, who jumped from covering 69.9% in August to 76.8% in February 2017.

Verizon or T-Mobile performed the best in every category tested, and the final results show that any measurable advantage T-Mobile or Verizon previously held in nationwide network testing has shrunk to the point of being insignificant. You still need to pick the carrier service that works bets for you, but overall either Red or Magenta should have you covered.

The best part is that they now need to fight even harder for our dollars.

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1 week ago

Flipboard redesign encourages curation and sharing content with friends

2

Flipboard attempts a revival with new features, including the ability to curate your own publication and share it with friends.

If the Flipboard app interface was starting to feel a little dated to you, there's good news. The company has launched a massive re-design of its news aggregation app, with a particular focus on design.

Flipboard 4.0 is introduced as the response to the company's "ever-growing ecosystem" of sources, the idea being that if you catch up on all the news and social media happenings through one specific app, that it should be easy to parse. To that end, Flipboard's new interface prioritizes topics over sources. The new algorithm will continually fine tune what you like to read as long as you interact with it by liking stories or following publications. You can go even deeper by selection those very specific topics you keep up with daily (mine would be alumni actors of out-of-commission TV shows).

Flipboard also introduced a collaborative new Smart Magazines feature, which lets you share a curated publication of sorts. You choose what goes into the Smart Magazine and then you can invite your pals to also read the content — like a shared RSS feed. They can make their own, too.

There's more information about what the update entails at the official blog post, including a how-to on honing your Flipboard so that you rely on it for daily reading.

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1 week ago

MrMobile's best Android tablet (is from 2015)

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It's been 15 months since Google's Pixel C launched, and it hasn't diminished in quality (or price). It still has some annoying bugs, and there's still software that just won't work in landscape mode, but after over a year since release, I still find myself gravitating toward it whenever I'm able to leave my bigger machines behind.

I'm Michael Fisher, alias MrMobile, and it'd be ridiculous for me to suggest you buy the Pixel C … at full price. But when it goes on sale, or it comes bundled with the attachable keyboard, I'm in enthusiastic agreement with what Jerry Hildenbrand said: the Pixel C is a handy piece of hardware, and it's (still) my favorite Android tablet of the year (so far). Hit play on this video, and let me tell you what's great (and not-so) about the Pixel C in 2017.

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Stay social, my friends

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